Exploring the contribution of the social work role in CMHTs for working age adults and older people
A study to explore the unique contribution of social workers to community mental health teams.
It will examine variations between team types (older people and working age adults) and between social workers and other CMHT staff within each of these settings. It will provide evidence for commissioners and assist providers in identifying pathways to service improvement.
SPRU research team
- Mark Wilberforce
- Eleni Kampanellou
- David Challis, Personal Social Services Research Unit, University of Manchester
- Jane Hughes, Personal Social Services Research Unit, University of Manchester
- Michele Abendstern, Personal Social Services Research Unit, University of Manchester
The question of how to best use social workers’ unique skills and knowledge multidisciplinary mental health teams has been a long-standing concern. Much of the existing research is dated, and little is heard of the perspectives and experiences of service users regarding the work social workers do. The study uses mixed methods comprising three interdependent work packages. In the first characteristics and experiences of CMHT service users supported by social workers, as compared to other CMHT practitioners, will be explored through a mix of case audit and postal survey research. The second will seek to understand social worker and other practitioner perspectives through focus groups and survey methods. Finally, the extent to which service users value different social worker functions will be the subject of a stated preference study (‘Best Worst Scaling’). All the work will be guided by a lay reference group.